Asiyah the Pharaoh’s Wife

Asiyah the Pharaoh’s Wife

Heidi Mahmoud

16 May 2018

Anas [may Allah be pleased with him] Narrated: that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Sufficient for you among the women of mankind are Mariam bint 'Imran, Khadijah bint Khuwailid, Fatimah bint Muhammad and Asiyah the wife of Fir'awn (Pharoh)." [Sahih (Darussalam), Book 49, Hadith 4252]

As it is shown in the Holy Saying, three of the mentioned women are related to the Prophets of Allah (PBUTh) except for Asiyah, the wife of the despot Pharaoh. Nevertheless, she is the adoptive parent of the Prophet Moses' (PBUH). As it is mentioned in different chapters of the Holy Quran, Pharaoh, the absolute ruler of ancient Egypt, used to kill newborn babies of the people of Israel. When the Messenger Moses (PBUH) was born, his mother panicked that he would meet his end at the hand of the inhumane Pharaoh. However, Allah inspired her to put her son in a chest and throw the chest in the river to save him from being slaughtered by Pharaoh as Allah Says: “When We inspired to your mother what We inspired,”, “[Saying], 'Cast him into the chest and cast it into the river, and the river will throw it onto the bank; which will take him an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his.' And I bestowed upon you love from Me that you would be brought up under My eye.” [Taha, 38, 39]

Once the infant reached the palace of Pharaoh, the oppressive ruler decided to kill him like the others, but his wife, Asiyah bint Muzahim asked him to spare the baby boy his life, so they could raise him to be their beloved son. Allah Says: “And the wife of Pharaoh said, "[He will be] a comfort of the eye [a source of happiness] for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son." and they were unaware [of Allah’s plan].” [Al-Qasas, 9]

After growing up, Moses had to run away from Egypt after killing a man by accident; an event that happened before he became a Prophet of Allah. When Moses (PBUH) returned to Egypt, as Allah ordered him, he called people to believe in the Oneness of Allah and to face Pharaoh. Pharaoh did not believe in Moses' Message and disobeyed him, but Asiyah embraced the religion of Moses (PBUH), she became a true believer and was tortured by the brutal Pharaoh. She prayed to Allah to save her from her tyrant husband and his wrong deeds. She hoped to win Allah's reward of entering paradise. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And Allah presents as an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people." [At-Tahrim, 11]

Asiyah set an example for believers to have true faith in Allah despite being under control of an unfair disbeliever and she reached perfection according to the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), "Many men reached perfection but none among the women reached perfection except Mary, the daughter of `Imran, and Asiyah, Pharoah's wife. And the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (a type of delicacy in Arabic culinary culture) to other kinds of food. [Sahih al-Bukhari 5418, Book 70, Hadith 46]

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